Golfer’s elbow or thrower’s elbow known medically as Medial Epicondylitis is a type of tendonitis that causes pain and inflammation in the tendons connecting your forearm and elbow.
Golf elbow is a common injury in athletes and others who use their wrists and arms a lot. Tiny tears in the tendons connecting your forearm and elbow cause pain and inflammation. Men over 35 and athletes who perform overhead motions are most at risk for developing golfer’s elbow.Physical therapy can reduce pain caused by medial epicondylitis, and improve your elbow’s motion, strength and function.
What Is Golfer's Elbow?
Golf elbow is a condition that is defined by pain in the elbow and forearm area. It is caused aggravation of the inside part of where forearm tendons connect to the bony bump of the elbow. It is a form of tendonitis which is an inflammation of the tendons in the body.
There are many causes of golf elbow and it can usually be resolved with a lot of rest alongside light exercise and therapy. Golf elbow is distinct due to the pain usually being centralized at the bony bump on the inner elbow. It is less common than tennis elbow but both are forms of tendonitis.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs of golf elbow are usually preceded by a sharp or gradual pain in the inner elbow, other symptoms include:
- Tenderness in the elbow, especially the inner side
- Stiffness in the elbow
- Weak hands and wrists
- Numbness in the fingers of the affected hand
Causes of Golfer’s Elbow
This condition is often caused by the overuse of the forearm muscles. This involves gripping and swinging activities, as well as wrist flexibility and arm rotation. Some common causes of golf elbow include:
Sports that involve swinging: sports like golf and tennis are prime cases for golf elbow. However, any sport that includes throwing, jabbing, or swinging motions is included in this. That includes sports like baseball, archery, javelin throwing, and more.
Repetitive motions: engaging in repetitive motions that stress or strain the muscles of the elbow and forearm also leads to golf elbow. This may be for work or even for a hobby such as carpentry, painting, typing for prolonged periods, and more.
Strain on the muscles: when you engage in activities that put a strain on the elbows and forearms without focusing on technique and posture, you run the risk of sustaining injuries like golf elbow. This can include activities like exercising and weight lifting.
How to Prevent Golfer's Elbow
Preventing golf elbow can be done by avoiding overuse of the elbow and forearms. This means being conscious of how much work your elbow is doing per time and slowing down when you start to feel pain in the area.
Golfer’s elbow can also be prevented by engaging in elbow strengthening and stretching exercises regularly to increase the capacity of the muscles and reduce your chances of sustaining the condition.
How can Physical Therapy help with Golfer's Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow is not usually a severe condition and can be treated with light exercises. Physical therapy is helpful for people dealing with golfer’s elbow as it can help to relieve the pain in the elbow and physical therapy exercises can help to stretch out the muscles.
Physical therapy also helps if the patient lost some motion due to the golf elbow. Ice and heat compression can help with any swelling or tenderness while stretching and strengthening exercises restore mobility and build strength.
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